Thursday, May 1, 2014

Bouquet Quilt Block and May Day 1916

Bouquet Quilt Block Pattern Information

Below is my grandmother's diary entry for May Day ninety-eight years ago.  George and Anna are her younger siblings and 12-year-old twins.  Their Mamma passed away three years ago.  Mrs. Hile is a neighbor who helps with housework. 

Monday, May 1, 1916 -
"It cleared off lovely today and has been a beautiful May Day.  George called me this morning early and said, 'May basket!'  He and Anna had made some for all and filled them with flowers.

"Mrs. Hile came about 9:30 this A.M., so I have been sewing a good deal today.  I finished my cap and planned my crepe dress and partially altered my suit.  I am beginning to like it a great deal better.

"This evening Papa and Anna and I each took a pretty bouquet of flowers - lilacs, violets, and verbenas - and walked up to the cemetery and put them on Mamma's grave.  Papa always brought her a bouquet on May Day, and we children got in the habit, too, so we still like to remember our little custom.  I think she still appreciates it, and I know it does us no harm to still hold the memory of the things she liked dear.

"I have been writing a letter to Fern and am quite sleepy.  Just a little tired, too.  To keep up with Papa, it kept Anna and I on the run part of the time, and yet he would say, 'My knees hurt so, I can hardly walk!'"

Have you ever received a bouquet on May Day?  Inquiring minds want to know!  

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Guest Blogger Julie Fuquda from Japan.


  1. I grew up with May Day Baskets. In grade school we would do the May Pole dance in gym. But mom would drive us to the neighbors so we could drop off a May basket. We would knock on the door and then quickly run back to the car so mom could drive away. Of course we all knew who had dropped off the baskets since it was in the country and the neighbors quite a bit down the road and many drive ways were a mile long. It was still fun.

  2. Never. But that's okay. Sometimes I buy myself flowers to make up for my hubby's inability to think of doing it. The diary entry is super sweet and touching.

  3. Reading this takes me WAAAAY back. May baskets were "in" when I was a kid. Here in Japan we have "Golden Week". It begins on April 29th with the birthday of the last Emperor, and lasts th May 5th which used to be "Boy's Day" but now is "Children's Day". Today I saw few places flying carp streamers, getting ready for the 5th. This is a big holiday for travel ...and a good time to stay home if you don't like sitting in traffic.

  4. I got my husband 50 years ago on May 1. I did get a rose corsage; does that count.

  5. I have never received a May basket, but I've always thought that it was such a sweet, sentimental custom.

  6. I've never celebrated May Day. For the past 26+ years, the only celebration on that date is my MIL's birthday.

  7. No I don't get them on May day because my birthday is on the 3rd. But even then I really don't get them. My husband would rather put flowers in the yard.

  8. I was once in France on May Day and loved their tradition of giving little bunches of Lily of the Valley on this day. As well as receiving a posy of these sweet-smelling flowers from my beloved, he also gave me a plant in a pot which has spread to light and scent a shady space in my garden at this time of year.


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